Mass Consumption in Society

Anthropologically, culture integrates human phenomena that have no genetic linkage, under a system where behavior is learned and is characteristic of a certain community or society, without any biological derivations incorporated into the approach. Material culture is a concept that is strange to define since in layman language it simply implies the physical objects, goods or possessions of a human being. Anything that a human being can interact with via the five senses is regarded as an object and can be incorporated in the definition of material culture, which draws components such as cities, towns, art, gardens, houses, cars, and electronics. In some arguments, human motion is also incorporated in the definition of material culture, such that dance is also included in the list of materials. In considering the definition of material, anything that has shape and form can be included in the argument for what should be considered in the description of material culture. Different scholars have made proposals on what material culture entails. In some arguments, such as Glassie’s, material culture is unusual since culture is immaterial (Prizer 2009: 41). By considering various scholars and previous works, the meaning of material culture can easily be lost. A paper by McClearly describes material culture as products of a culture (McCleary 2012: 1). The description follows the premise that it is the subjects, humans, culture that determines the products (materials) that are produced to be used on a daily basis. She further proceeds to claim that material culture’s importance is in the information that can be extracted from the ‘stuff’ which includes the place, time, and the nature of the people who shaped the culture. There is a relationship that is described by McClearly showcases the interdependence of culture and produced material, such that the material effects.